Previewing Old Dominion

The Tar Heels head out West for the two-day Las Vegas Invitational. First up is Old Dominion on Friday. It'll tip-off at 11:55 p.m. (EST) at the Orleans Arena and will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (3-0) vs. Old Dominion (3-1)
Las Vegas, Nev. - Orleans Arena
11:55 p.m. (EST), ESPNU


Season To Date: Old Dominion is 3-1 on the season, and has two common opponents with the Tar Heels. The Monarchs beat Iona (74-63) and South Carolina State (64-54) as part of the Las Vegas Invitational event, while splitting in other action with a loss to Clemson (66-53) and a win over Toledo (66-35). Old Dominion only returns two starters from last season's NCAA Tournament team that posted a 24-9 (15-3 Colonial Athletic Association) record. Two players that came off the bench in '06-'07 have stepped up their games this season, however, as 6-foot-9 forward Gerald Lee (11.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and guard Abdi Lidonde (10.5 ppg) are providing consistent offensive performances.

Defensive Prowess: Old Dominion has put a premium on shutdown defense this season, holding its opponents to 34.2 percent shooting from the field and 28.8 percent from behind the arc. Those statistics explain the Monarchs' ability to allow just 54.5 points per game.

Big Man on Campus: Australian Sam Harris was brought into the program as a project post player four years ago. The 7-foot-3 senior center has made huge strides throughout his career, and has provided a strong defensive presence in the paint for the Monarchs. In addition to averaging 5.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg through four games, Harris has blocked 18 shots this season.

Last Meeting: The last time these two programs met will always serve as an important point in time for North Carolina fans. The date was Nov. 22, 2003, and the occasion was Roy Williams' first game as the UNC head coach. The Tar Heels won, 90-64, behind Rashad McCants' 18 points, eight assists and four steals. Melvin Scott had 15 points and six assists and UNC shot 60.7 percent from the floor. Carolina led 40-23 at halftime and used an 18-0 run to blow the game wide open in the second half.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Old Dominion, 7-0. All seven meetings in the UNC-ODU series have come since the 1988-89 season. The Tar Heels have beaten the Monarchs in 1988-89, 1989-90, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1997-98, 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Location: Norfolk, Va.
Enrollment: 21,500
Conference: Colonial
Nickname: Monarchs
Colors: Slate & Light Blue, Silver
Head Coach: Blaine Taylor 
Record at ODU: 121-69
Last Year: 24-9 

Projected Starters:
 4 Brandon Johnson (6-1, 182, Sr.) – 9.3 ppg, 6.5 apg
 0 Abdi Lidonde (6-2, 200, Sr.) – 10.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg
20 Brian Henderson (6-5, 200, Sr.) - 9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
12 Gerald Lee (6-9, 250, So.) – 11.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg
30 Sam Harris (7-3, 270, Sr.) - 5.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Key Reserves:
34 Jonathan Adams (6-6, 215, Jr.) – 6.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
23 Marsharee Neely (6-2, 190, So.) – 4.3 ppg
 2 Ben Finney (6-5, 220, Fr.) – 3.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg
 3 Darius James (6-1, 165, Fr.) – 3.3 ppg, 2.3 apg
21 Frank Hassell (6-8, 245, Fr.) – 3.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

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